Into the Beautiful North!
I was invited to visit a homestead! This is Sarah on the trail to her house with one of her Jack Russell Terriers. She has five dogs and boards additional dogs in the winter for people who leave town. Sarah and her husband John grow organic vegetables, herbs, and fruit and have a tree nursery.
One of Sarah’s dogs hunting river otter on the mostly frozen Klondike River. To get to their home, you have to drive, park, walk to the river, cross two wide branches of the Klondike (and an island in between) on foot or by canoe and then hike to the house. The spring/summer canoe trips are dangerous because it is very fast moving water and in spring it fills with chunks of ice. They carry everything in and Sarah was careful about using the propane stove because the tanks are so heavy. There is no electricity and they have an outhouse, but pee Indoors in a bucket with a toilet seat and put the urine on a compost pile they use for fertilizing the nursery trees.
This is one of their apple greenhouses. These trees are a dozen years old and well pruned to remain shorter than the plastic roof. We had to climb down into the snow (about 3.5 feet deep here) to get inside. John built everything: cozy home, extra cabin for summer volunteer workers, sheds and dog pens/runs. He dug out the basement by hand, and that is where they store the dried and canned food they make. Sarah stores kale in a big, frozen pile and it keeps all winter!
Frost inside the apple greenhouse.
Sarah maintains many miles of trails by hiking them in snow shoes to pack down new snow. They were fairly easy to walk on, but if you step off the trail, you are suddenly buried up to mid-thigh in the soft snow. We took the dogs for a two hour walk and I had a hell of a time keeping up. Finally I simply walked at my own pace, lagged way behind, smiled a lot and took photos. Sarah was wearing a thin, nylon windbreaker and she told me that it made her too hot to even look at me “in that big parka”. I admire these lovely Yukon women. They are are tough as nails!